SAN DIEGO, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A U.S. Air Force award for sustainment performance has been given to the Northrop Grumman/Air Force Global Hawk program team.
The RQ-4 Global Hawk program team was recognized with the 2012 Dr. James G. Roche Sustainment Excellence Award demonstrating the most improved performance in logistics readiness and maintenance.
The award is named for the 20th secretary of the Air Force. In determining a winner, the service calculates improvements for a predetermined set of metrics and multiplying each metric by a corresponding weighted value.
"Even with a year marked with fiscal challenges and heightened operations tempo, the Global Hawk government-industry team was able to increase aircraft mission capability by 26 percent in fiscal year 2012," said George Guerra, vice president of the Global Hawk program for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.
"This increase allowed the Global Hawk team to execute and fly more than 13,400 hours last year."
Those hours translated into an overall mission-capable rate of 78 percent for the unmanned aerial vehicle.
Northrop has delivered to the Air Force a total of 37 Global Hawks, which are used for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and communications relay. The aircraft have flown more than 88,000 hours, 80 percent of which in combat support.
"Congratulations to Northrop Grumman for ensuring our warfighters are equipped with a system that is ready and available when they need it," said Col. Carlin Heimann, Global Hawk system program director for the U.S. Air Force.
"It is encouraging to be recognized at Air Force levels for the contributions this team makes to improving Global Hawk reliability and sustainability.
"This will always be a joint government-contractor effort and together we earned this award, which is a reminder that we have our priorities right."